Imagine if the world's most famous pregnant celebrity, Mary, the Mother of God (because some people in India and Africa have never heard of Kendra Wilkinson or even [gasp!] Angelina), were alive today and had an ultrasound for her baby due on December 25.
Churchgoers in England believe it would look like the picture at left -- a boy baby like any other, only they photo-shopped in a halo to get the point across that, well, he's also God, after all.
I'm a churchgoer in America, and this ad that invokes the idea of Mary as a mother in modern times really got my attention. The hope is that it will get the attention of people who don't go to church even more and spur them to attend services.
But secularists -- people who don't go to church and believe in a clear division between religion and civic life -- say the series of ads due to run during the month of December is actually alienating people from the religious celebration because of its inherent anti-abortion, political message.
Here's a quote from the leader of big secularist organization, as reported in the Guardian:
"It is an incredible piece of naivety on their part," said Terry Sanderson, direction of the National Secularist Society."If they are hoping to stop the secular drift away from Christmas as a Christian festival, they risk doing the opposite. It gives the impression that it was politically motivated, that they are trying to put across some sort of subliminal message. The image is too specifically associated with pro-lifers to be seen in a benign context. They should go back to angels and cribs."
I'm puzzled why anyone, even those who are pro-choice, would think that. Some people said that about the iPhone app that simulates the actual size and look of a baby as it grows to the 40th week, and I don't get that, either.
If Mary were pregnant today, she'd likely have an ultrasound. This is what her baby, due in December, might look like (minus the halo). And, yes, a lot of people who go to church -- even some of the Protestant folks who are the sources of this ad (the Catholics are not involved here) -- are pro-life. In other words, they have views that are not ... secular. If they were secular, it wouldn't be called church. I think I'm stating the obvious here.
But the secular society guy said this campaign will turn people off from celebrating Christmas -- which, I might add, is not and never will be a secular holiday.
Does one really have anything to do with the other?
Does this ad carry a pro-life message and would it deter you from celebrating Christmas?